Tac Assault Cruiser Feedback
Looking for some opinions on setups for my Tactical Assault Cruiser with a primary focus on PvE and maybe a little PvP...maybe.
Overall, I'm looking to hit that middle ground. Deliver good damage and be able to take a bit of a beating when I end up pulling too much.
I'll usually go into the fray first or second, throw down a beam weapon burst to drop shields as much as possible, launch the HY about 2-3 seconds after initial burst, and then quickly turn to broadside. Because of this pattern, I end up being a focus for attention by the enemy groups so I need to maintain ship integrity till the cavalry arrives. After that, work on enemy shield maintenance for team support and continue to cause good damage while still surviving focus of say a Cube/Tac Cube (god I hate tractor beams) or Dreadnought.
Admittedly, my biggest problems are against Borg or when I end up pulling too much aggro. I hate the tractor beams (PH counter), but I also hate the Borg shield drop (HE counter). I figure I can do a bit of tanking to counter the shield drop, but that means I have to keep PH to avoid tractors. Or I just take HE to "tank it" when I get caught in a tractor beam. Admittedly, I love "Go Down Fighting" so I actually won't focus on healing my hull while that's in operation...and so HE might be a bad choice again. *sigh* :(
Possible BoFF Swaps
Polarize Hull for Hazard Emitters
Beam Overload for Target Shield Subsystems (But then drop Directed Energy Modulation?)
Weapons Fore: Tetryon Array x2, Antiproton Array, Quantum Torp
Weapons Aft: Tetryon Array, Antiproton Array x2, Quantum Torp
Shields, Impulse, Sensors: Full Aegis Set (Thinking of mixing/matching with Borg)
Consoles: Still messing with Consoles, but I do have the Borg equipped in one of my engineering slots
Devices: Subspace Field Modulator, Scorpion Fighters
I'm comfortable with the weapon loadout that I have, but I'm still messing with Consoles and BoFF Skills. As I've only really died MAYBE a handful of times during solo play (usually play "Normal" level), I'm not too concerned about that. This is more for fleet actions and team play as I want to pull enemies off the Science ships and Escorts.
Charging into the midst of a Borg group and punching FAW is generally a bad idea. They've got too many shield stripping powers so you can end up in trouble really quick. I make it a point to avoid using multi-target attacks against the Borg unless it is absolutely necessary.
Also, ditch the Tetryon stuff and go Phaser. Damage is the same and it's cheaper to spec in. I know the game gives away Tet stuff in drops like there is no tomorrow, but IMO its just not worth bothering with. Our fleet bank is full of Tet crap, nobody uses it.
You want 2x Directed Energy Modulation.
You want Science Team + Hazard Emitters.
Take out all EPtW. Not worth a damn unless you are running below 90 weapon power in your volleys, which my Dreadnought doesn't do, so your Assault Cruiser definitely should not.
Run 2x EPtS, keep it active 24/7. Your shield and weapon power will both maintain well over 100, great DPS and tanking both.
Since you're using this for Borg and not PvP, run 2x Beam Overload 1 and High Yield 2. A lot more punch power.
Reverse Shield Polarity 1 is sufficient. 3 is a waste of a Commander Engineer slot.
Since your shields aren't as reliable as your hull against Borg, try to fit in Engineering Team 2 or 3.
Never drop Beam Overload - for anything.
Swap to 100% Antiproton, not Phaser. You want reliable damage output, and Antiproton is the best DPS weapon available. Points on an Assault Cruiser aren't an issue.
Run either full Borg or full Aegis. Never mix and match.
Your turn rate in an Assault Cruiser isn't deplorable, so swap to Dual Beams fore with a quantum launcher, with turrets rear with either another Quantum or Hargh Peng (both effective).
It's ridiculously easy to keep your nose on a borg ship, so pump as much forward-facing DPS as you can and you'll see them drop twice as fast.
Keep power 100 to weapons base, before bonuses.
Run something similar to this and tell us what you think.
You WANT polarize hull. It gets you out of tractor beams. Which the borg use A LOT. You want polarize hull I and hazard emitters II. If you have the borg set you can rely on that and EPtS for your shields.
Finally, Borg set with aegis shield is nothing to sneeze at...though against borg I guess I would say full borg set, regenerative shields are more helpful against borg because they can down your shields so fast at any moment no matter how beefy they are, you want them to come back up quickly thus negating the damage to the hull as often as possible. plasma resist/low bleedthrough shields are also good, like the elite force on Tribble. Personally I haven't gotten the borg shields yet so I can't test their effectiveness.
Also, while antiproton is the top DPS, I wouldnt waste the points. It's not that big of a deal, and remember that the effects are on hit effects, and what hits more often? cannons...which are used by escorts...soooo yeah, stick with phasers, you will have more skills to give to your power levels and to your ground skills to make the ground grind less evil.
My final recommendation: as a tac captain, hop into the excelsior. Sure it's a dated ship, but she has stately lines and a bluff bow. You can name her surprise, and then surprise will always be on your side. Plus the excel gives you more maneuverability, and a better Boff setup with the possibility of BO3. Or you could try that one ALL TURRET excelsior build I saw on the forums once. Even tried it out. It was pretty hilarious, you use DEM and C:RF, and it sort of looks like you are firing the WoK phaser pulse weapons. which I guess would be appropriate considering the time period of the ship.
Rapid Fire for Turrets... are you serious? What a waste of one of your few, precious Tac slots...
Tac Team against Borg is pointless. No need to auto distribute shields that don't exist. When you want the shields to recharge, pop one of the two Reverse Shield Polarities and that'll do the job of Tac Team automatically (but with FAR greater effect).
2x BO > BO + Tac Team for Borg, knowing what's used against you. They strip your shields? Science Team and either EPtS or RSP, whichever suits your fancy.
As for the power, don't be retarded and use one RIGHT after the other. It'll have a global cooldown of 15 seconds with a main recharge of 30. Use it on the 20 second mark and your weapon power will be back to full.
DEM works fine with beams.
Borg Tractors are a non-factor. Only borg ships that do enough damage to matter is the Tac Cube and Mothership. An assault cruiser with the posted build will have the survivability to be perfectly fine tanking full groups of Borg ships, even several Cubes, without much to worry about.
Since you'll be tanking with hull as much as you will your shields, Hazard Emitters works to remove Plasma fires that kill off your precious crew (borg use this a LOT). Works as a hull heal with a good amount of return. Usable on allies to heal THEM as well.
Polarize Hull, to be blunt, is an Escort skill. Cruisers with LTC and COM Engineering simply don't need it, and is a waste.
Sets are preference, hence why I said both. Though if adding Aegis, I recommended the full set due to the bonus.
If you want a shield substitute for Borg, if you really don't want to use it, use the Covariant Capx3. Aegis by itself is sub-par by comparison.
If you look at the build... where are the extra points created by using the less-powerful Phasers even needed? All vital areas are already fully covered, AND he gets the benefit of Antiproton (again, which work just fine with beams).
Why create extra points while weakening yourself if it isn't even needed?
But what do I know... I only use the Galaxy-X, built precisely like an Assault Cruiser with a slower turn rate and added Cloak and Lance.
I do agree with you on one point however. He should try the Excelsior with Cannons/Turrets and see how he does.
First, even ONE Beam Overload reduces your damage potential quite a bit, you solve that by hitting EPtW afterwards, and considering it gives you a pretty hefty damage percentage boost as well during its duration, it's definitely something you want if you are running beams. ALso, if he is using a 6 beam broadside, as i recommended, there is going to be a significant power draw that even one EPtW will resolve, bringing up his peak damage with little sacrifice.
Second, you are ignoring a sizable percentage of tac team's bonus. Eliminating tac debuffs, adding crew, and finally tac team also provides a percentage damage boost, once again increasing your sustain damage for the period of its duration. But again, kind-of preference on what you use in your tac skills, but I would DEFINITELY recommend Torp Spread over Torp HY.
And as you point out, you will be tanking on your hull as much if not MORE than on your shields...why is this? Because they (the Borg) can strip your shields like butter. So if you want a balanced boat, you want an Aux to SIF (maybe III if you can get it) and maybe an engie team in there, and you want HE II and you WANT polarize hull. and if you are using DEM and reverse shield polarity in your engie slots, then no, that will definitely not cover you. I don't really understand what you mean when you say the tractors are a non issue. Have you played the new STFs on tribble? being held right next to a cube while it and all of its little friends can wack you on one shield facing for ever is NOT fun. Also not being able to line up your damage abilities, or your broadside, not fun either. Or best of all, being held next to a tac cube as it explodes on your face, thus one shotting you if your shields are even a little weakend. And it adds hull resistance. So against borg, you want it. Period. This really isn't an arguable point. 2xEPtS and the borg set will take care of your shields. And yeah capx3 is slightly more, but get the reman shields or aegis, its not that much less, and OP doesn't sound like a min/maxer.
I also never said you shouldn't get HE. In fact I recommended it. So we agree on that point.
Using turrets without using C: RF is just silly. You recommend he use 3 or 4 slots for turrets, but no C: RF? AND you want him to use DEM? AND antiproton? both of those abilities get leagues better the more hits you're getting in, so you WANT C:RF if you are using cannons or turrets. It will be leagues better than having 2x BO. Everyone knows the tac slots on an assault are anything BUT precious. On the excel on the other hand...yes they are...precious indeed.
If he skills phasers he gets to fully skill up what engie and science abilities he is using and gets a significant power boost from fully skilling out his efficiency and performance skills (where applicable). I never said Anitproton wouldn't work fine with beams, but there's better places to put skill points, he's not trying to min/max an escort build. Plus...PHASERS! they...PHASE!
In general both will work, PvE is easy...but this is all based on my own experience flying a tac in an assault and an excel since launch. Again...not trying to start a fight.
Forgive me if my assessment was rude. I still don't agree on many points, but as you mentioned, not a reason for a petty fight.
I'm not going to spend 5 pages arguing PvE strategy with you, either. It's PvE... you can take 8 Common MK 1 phaser turrets and completely randomize your BOFF abilities and still manage to win (trust me, I've done it for no other reason than that PvE bores me THAT much).
PvE strategy in and of itself is an oxymoron.
Still, not going to invalidate your arguments. The op is certainly free to try what they feel will work best.
All good points actually. I find myself hybridding :D
Thanks all though for these insights and opinions. Definitely appreciated.
2x EPtS is meant to both give regular shield heals, as well as keep your Shield Energy above 100 consistently. This is important for a few reasons.
Higher Shield Power = Higher shield regeneration.
Higher Shield Power = Higher shield damage resistance.
This is especially apparent with the Borg shields. The really high regen rate of the shields, coupled with high shield power (and of course, the set bonus procs) make you quite resilient.
Having 2 of these allows you to keep EPtS on permanently. You will run 24/7 with 100+ shield power, with only a base of 50, giving you a LOT of freedom in your power distribution without sacrificing your defense and tanking ability. Many don't realize how great an advantage this is.
My "devil's advocate" mentioned wisely about the Tetryons. Good weapon type, don't get me wrong... but mostly useful in cannons and turrets. Not beams. This is due to the large number of individual hits by comparison.
More hits = more procs. And for Tetryons to be truly effective, you need lots of procs.
You won't get that to full effect on an Assault Cruiser.
Both of our suggestions would work well in PvP, so you are welcome to take snippets from both.
Best advice I can give for that is that the Captain wins the match, not the ship. My ship, the Galaxy-X, has been center for a lot of hate in STO. 95%+ of the ship's pilots are deplorable using it, giving the rest of us a terrible reputation. I use it in spite of that, and win.
Attack Patterns are actually quite nice. Believe it or not, but Beta is actually the single highest DPS pattern in the game (aside from Alpha). Omega comes close behind it, but has a number of other advantages (immunity to tractor beams, increased maneuverability, increased defense, etc). One of the reasons Escorts are so strong is that they can use several of these (my fleet escort runs Omega and Beta, along with all of the natural Tactical buffs, and does tremendous damage as a result).
They aren't necessary on a cruiser, however, due to the limited Tactical BOFF slots.
I would actually also consider Eject Warp Plasma, but that would require quite a few Skill Points to be truly effective. It is very fun to use, however, especially for PvP (though you will find yourself almost never using it effectively in PvE).
On cruisers, I dont go for the broadside. I use Three DBB and a QTorp up front and three mean arrays and QTorp in the rear, no problems, no worries.
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